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House of Commons Hansard #109 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was fishery.

Topics

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

He did not say that either, but the hon. member might watch his code; he must avoid creating a disturbance in the House. I would invite him to continue with his question.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, after the Liberals got caught breaking the law, they used a loophole to cancel the law. Handy, is it not? Only days before section 14 of the Parliament of Canada Act forced them to stop paying rent to the Liberal-tied company, the Liberal cabinet just cancelled section 14, meaning that taxpayers will continue to pay big bucks.

Is it not true that the Liberal cabinet gave a $500,000 escape hatch to its Liberal friend with cancelling this law?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, that is an outrageous statement and the fact is--

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The Minister of Public Works and Government Services has the floor. I cannot hear a word he is saying.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that there is a new Senate code of conduct and section 14 has been repealed and supported by the Senate of Canada.

If the hon. member has a complaint or suspicion about the conduct of one of the senators, I would suggest he speak to some of his Senate colleagues who can make the complaint to the Ethics Commissioner on the floor of the House of Commons, many of whom support the new code of conduct and believe it is the appropriate way to deal with any of these types of issues in the Senate.

Maher Arar InquiryOral Question Period

June 6th, 2005 / 2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week, we learned that the U.S. had proposed to Canadian authorities that Maher Arar be returned to Canada, but that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, CSIS, said no.

How could the government say no and refuse to ensure the safety and protection of a Canadian?

Maher Arar InquiryOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member is aware, we will not comment on the daily testimony that is proffered before the Arar inquiry.

Mr. Justice O'Connor was put in place as an independent judge to determine the facts in relation to any Canadian involvement in the deportation of Mr. Arar from the United States to Syria. I think what is required is for Mr. Justice O'Connor to hear the evidence, hear the witnesses and make those factual determinations.

Maher Arar InquiryOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am beginning to think the government is creating commissions of inquiry in order to avoid answering questions.

This decision, both thoughtless and deplorable, resulted in Maher Arar's ending up in Syria and being tortured.

How could the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness allow CSIS to go over the head of a minister in making decisions?

Maher Arar InquiryOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, as I have said, we want to get to the bottom of this. We want to know what the facts are in terms of any Canadian officials and their involvement in any way in relation to the deportation of Mr. Arar from the United States of America to Syria.

We put the Arar inquiry in place to get to the bottom of what happened and I think we should all await Mr. Justice O'Connor's factual findings.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Vic Toews Conservative Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, last year an official from Revenue Canada threatened a Catholic bishop with the loss of his church's charitable status on the basis of his support for traditional marriage.

Not only has the Prime Minister failed to protect religious freedom in the country but it appears his government is actually attacking it.

Will the Prime Minister commit to amending the same sex marriage legislation to specifically protect the charitable status of those organizations that support traditional marriage, or will he break his word again?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the matter is now before the committee. We indicated with respect to our responses that we are open to any recommendations that will be consistent with the principles of the legislation and will be supportive of the rights in the charter.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Vic Toews Conservative Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister broke his word to one of his former members. I have no confidence that he will do anything in respect to this issue.

Speaking out on social issues is a fundamental right for all Canadians. Church officials should have the same right and yet church officials have been threatened. Now Liberal members of Parliament want Christian organizations investigated by Revenue Canada for voicing their concerns on same sex marriage.

Why does the Prime Minister say he protects certain rights and denies other rights?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we respect all rights: equality rights, freedom of religion and I reject the premise of the question.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Françoise Boivin Liberal Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, the week of June 5 to 11 is Canadian environment week. Could the minister describe for us, at the start of environment week, three recent measures testifying to the government's determination to improve the environment in Canada, in the wake of the greenest budget since Confederation?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the three measures are as follows. First, Bill C-15, on protecting migratory birds, is now law in this country. I want to thank all the members of this House for voting unanimously for the bill.

Second, the Minister of State for Infrastructure and Communities invested $800 million to improve public transit systems in Canada.

Third, the Minister of Public Works and Government Services announced this morning the establishment of the Office of Greening Government Operations, which aims to protect nature, quality of life in our cities and the role of the Government of Canada in the environment.

Public Service of CanadaOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Conservative

Guy Lauzon Conservative Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

Mr. Speaker, if the government thinks that public servants should be paid more, then it should be transparent about it and increase their basic salary instead of giving them a year-end bonus. Canadians do not believe that 9 out of 10 senior managers deserve such a generous bonus.

The government has already wasted billions of dollars on the gun registry and the sponsorship scandal. How can it justify paying any more money to those who supervised these fiascos?

Public Service of CanadaOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Winnipeg South Manitoba

Liberal

Reg Alcock LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, we can support these people because 457,000 of them do valuable work right across the country and they act ethically and honourably. Frankly, at the higher levels, by every independent study, they are underpaid and deserve to be paid more, not less. I do not know why the opposition continues to make this false attack on the leadership of the Public Service of Canada.

Public Service of CanadaOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Conservative

Guy Lauzon Conservative Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

Mr. Speaker, last year 91% of all senior public service executives received bonuses totalling over $32 million. I believe public servants at all levels should have the opportunity to earn bonuses for exceptional performance but when extra pay becomes routine it is no longer a bonus. It is just more unaccountable spending by an irresponsible government.

Will the President of the Treasury Board explain to overtaxed Canadians why the government arbitrarily takes money from their paycheques and adds it to the paycheques of senior public servants?

Public Service of CanadaOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Winnipeg South Manitoba

Liberal

Reg Alcock LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, what I will do is correct the misinformation that the opposition puts on the record every year on this. Only 37% of executives received bonuses this year. There is an at risk pay portion designed by an independent committee and headed by a professor at the University of Western Ontario who recognizes that our quality of life is based upon the very good work that these people do and they deserve to be paid.

TransportationOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Rivière-Du-Loup—Montmagny, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week, Bombardier Transportation announced that it was considering moving some of the activities of its La Pocatière plant to Mexico to ensure getting contracts. This move would result in the loss of 300 well-paying jobs in my riding.

Does the government, which announced hundreds of millions of dollars to help the automobile and aerospace industry, intend to present a real action plan to help the public transit industry remain competitive?

TransportationOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, programs are available to work with public transit manufacturing organizations. Bombardier itself has a very serious line of business in producing rapid transit trains and vehicles. We have programs that are available to help the companies that qualify and we will certainly look at any proposal that comes forward.

An Act to Authorize the Minister of Finance to Make Certain PaymentsOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Michael John Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, in a letter released over the weekend, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce accused the government of risking a deficit through Bill C-48, in spite of the government's precondition that it would not lead to deficit spending.

I wonder if there is anything else the Minister of Finance might want to share with the House in response to the Chamber of Commerce.

An Act to Authorize the Minister of Finance to Make Certain PaymentsOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, just to be absolutely clear, if one reads the terms of Bill C-48, it calls for the government to avoid a deficit. It calls for the federal budget to be in surplus. It calls for $2 billion to be applied to debt paydown both this year and next. On the issue of tax reductions, the government will proceed, albeit on separate legislative tracks.

With the greatest of respect, the Chamber of Commerce was mistaken in its analysis of Bill C-48.

Presence in GalleryOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

It is my pleasure today to welcome to the House of Commons the members of Team Canada who took part in the Special Olympic World Games in Nagano, Japan, from February 26 to march 5, 2005.

We are very proud of our athletes and their achievements, who have worked hard and represented Canada well.

The months of training, as well as your determination, brought you all to Nagano where you competed against other athletes. But above all, you competed against your own abilities and have pushed your limits to new levels.

Those close to you, your family, neighbours, and coaches, provided you with the constant support you needed to reach your top performance and you did not let them down.

I am sure you will always have great memories of this competition and the friendships you have begun with athletes from other countries.

You are an inspiration to all of us and we are honoured to have you with us today to celebrate your successes.